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Amadou and Mariam - Folila

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 2 / 4 / 2012

Amadou and Mariam - Folila
Label: Because Music
Format: CD


Messy latest album from acclaimed Malinese Amadou and Mariam, which despite unsuitable collaborations with acts such as the Scissor Sisters, finds them still capable of composing great funky tunes

In their early days chez Barclay in Paris, Amadou & Mariam managed to captivate ever increasing audiences. Manu Chao then took Amadou & Mariam by the hand into the big bad world of record companies. And now it has come to this album 'Folila'. A host of Anglo-American artists got invited - I sincerely doubt that any of them voluntarily lined up to perform with 'le premier duo du Mali'. TV On The Radio's contribution proves to be the best amongst this slimy bunch. At least their rootsy blues shows dignity towards the couple whose uplifting music has lightened up so many people's lives. With each subsequent CD Amadou & Mariam have released in the West, it seems as if their sheer joy in music could not be tolerated any further. The post-production team probably thought something along the lines of "We must throw in some indie highway college radio act now." As if aware of the dangers lurking underneath such a perception, 'Folila' becomes almost indigenous before half time. Amadou et Mariam now prove to be too a polite couple too; Santigold and Scissor Sisters had their chances. Even when those contributions proved to be the weakest on offer. The track explaining the difficulties a blind couple faces is a surprisingly chaotic tune, and almost avant garde in total. Some courage has been shown in inviting Bernard Cantat to appear on some of the tracks, and this settles the score. His crooning vocals on these 4 tracks hint at the new horizons set for this couple. The steaming West-African rhythm and blues perfectly fits his voice. Once the guest artists have all left the studio, we get to hear some fine desert blues. 'Folila' is full of soul music as well. Yet still I remain baffled why Amadou et Mariam have not seen worldwide hits. On a scale of 'Dimanche à Bamako', 'Fólila' rates at least 8. Each and every household should at least have 2 CDs from Amadou et Mariam. They're blind and you must have been deaf. I cannot think of any other explanation of their relative unpopularity. Amadou et Mariam have consistently been misunderstood and, even in the midst of all this mess, the duo manages to churn out a decent couple of funky tunes.

Track Listing:-
1 Dougou Badia
2 Wily Kataso
3 Oh Amadou
4 Metemya
5 Africa Mon Afrique
6 C'est Pas Facile Pour Les Aigles
7 Wari
8 Sans Toi
9 Mogo
10 Another Way
11 Bagnale
12 Nebe Miri
13 Chérie

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Welcome to Mali (2008)
Excellent combination of American funk, reggae and britpop on Damon Albarn-produced sixth album from Malinese couple, Amadou and Mariam

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